OOQ.02.01.PrideAndJoyParents.Transcript Fri, Feb 24, 2023 9:59AM 1:16:09
teens, parents, queer, relationship, lgbtq, consent,
Welcome to Season Two of Out of Curiosity. I'm your host, Elena Joy and today we bring you one of the most exciting events the Pride and Joy Foundation has ever hosted. In February, we held a Pride and Joy Parents event that centered on supporting our LGBTQ+ kids in having healthy intimate relationships. This goes beyond talking about safe sex and into consent, red and green flags for parents to look for and conversation prompts to have some great deep dive conversations on the topic between a straight parent and a queer kid. The event was so powerful we knew we had to make it more accessible for parents everywhere. So we decided to kick off season two with this amazing experience. My guest in this conversation is Quinten Foster, pronouns he/ him. Quinten is the Director of Transgender Whole Health Care at East Bay Community Action Program in Newport Rhode Island. Quinten is an autistic transgender man who combines his lived experience and health psychology training to support LGBTQ + patients living their most authentic lives, and to support and educate allies who aim to improve health and care for our community.
Now, I am not an expert on parenting by any means, but I really loved bringing my perspective of both later in life lesbian, and the mom of at least one LGBTQ + teenager. It wasn't all serious, we had a few good laughs around the wild ride that is parenting. This conversation is full of wisdom and key takeaways for all parents, and especially those of LGBTQ + teens. Parenting is hard. Parenting a child from a marginalized community that you're not a part of is even harder. But knowledge is power, and this kind of knowledge saves lives. So thank you for being with us today. Now let's go. My name again is Elena Joy. I am the founder and the Volunteer Executive Director of the Pride and Joy Foundation. I have four kiddos, as you can see here, their ages right now are 20,18, 14 and 12. At least one of my kids identifies as LGBTQ plus, so I am also a Pride and Joy Parent navigating that journey along with you. I am a former Mormon. I was that Mormon. 40% of my neighborhood was Mormon. I baked bread every week, I was the scout leader in my ward. I voted against Prop Eight rave like I did all the things.
At age 37, I finally came out to myself. And that was unacceptable to be a lesbian because it meant I was giving up my place in heaven. I was giving up God's love. And so I enrolled myself in conversion therapy, which is any therapy whose end goal is to result in heteronormative sexual attraction or gender identity. What I did not know is that it has a very high suicide rate. And that is where I got I was very much struggling with suicidal ideation. And I got to a point where I decided I wanted to stay. I wanted to live, it was better for my kids to have a gay mom than a dead mom. So I chose to stay. And by doing so I claimed my orientation. And the amazing part is that through that process, what I really claimed was my own body. I had been taught for so long that my body was something that was going to tempt me that it was something to suppress that it was something to have control over. Right. And so as I was struggling with this crazy anxiety and depression going into my 30s not understanding why I was feeling that way. But I ended up throwing myself into working out all the time. I had never been an athletic person, ever. But it was that piece that I could feel within my body after I pushed myself really hard on a workout that I began really craving. And I realized I had no intuition. I had no relationship with my body. My body was something that I tried to distance myself from. And I realized that as I came into my sexuality, I got to reclaim that, I guess to reclaim that relationship with my body and my intuition because my intuition had been trying to tell me something kind of important for like a really long time. And I've ignored it for a really long time. But as I develop this relationship with my body, and I heard my intuition speaking to me, that's when I got to fully claim who I am and who I love. And I think that LGBTQ teens have a really amazing advantage of that area because as they go through that claiming process as well. It helps them develop that relationship with their body.
And one of the most important asks is consent. And it's the first topic we're going to talk about here today. Consent is huge. Consent is multifaceted. And it's one of the most important parts of any intimate relationship. I think a lot of these concepts are really important. And I'm going to invite Quinten into this conversation on consent as well. For me, one of the biggest things about this was communicating really clearly with my teenagers. Consent is not a lack of No. Consent is a resounding yes. And how I taught that to my kids, because first I had to take it out of intimacy to be able to have the conversation with them was that that's a boundary I placed for my own self now. And it's not about intimacy, it's about anything in life. If I'm asked to do anything in life, if it's not a resounding yes, it's a hell no. Right. That's like my schedule. That's like events that I'm committing to speak at, or volunteering that I'm committing to do. That is my consent that I'm giving. And so my barrier is, if it's not a Hell, yes, then it's a hell no, for me personally. And then once we had that conversation, right, around work life boundaries, etc, school boundaries, peer boundaries, then we flowed that conversation into consent on intimacy level. If it's not a resounding yes, that's a no. And as I told my kids, if you're not mature enough to have the conversation to get to a yes, then you're not mature enough to be intimate in that way. That's how I taught my kids. But Quinten, I'd love to hear your concepts around consent, and what you'd like these parents to know.
Yeah, so I totally agree with everything you've already said. One of the things when I'm doing my sexual health presentations, high schoolers, as we're always talking about the difference between communication differences, and miscommunication. So each couple teens, adults, anyone who's in a relationship, they're going to communicate a little bit differently. Consent might not sound exactly the same couple to couples. So someone might not always say, Yes, I would like to have sex with you now. Like, it's not always going to be that exact and clear. And some teens, especially when we're talking about things like myself, who are neuro, neuro divergent, they might struggle with that clarity. So consent doesn't sound exactly the same to each couple. But it should be clear, it should be enthusiastic, and it should be continual. So you have to continue consenting to whatever act is being performed. But also every time that changes, that team also needs to consent to that change. Another thing I always drill into their heads is that 99 noes and one yes is not yes, coercion is not consent. So we're not asking and asking and asking and asking to get someone to finally say yes, but that doesn't count. It's consent. Just like you said, if it's not a Hell, yes, it's a hell no. And then the other thing we talked about, just like you were talking about with work, life balance, and all of those types of things that consented isn't just for sex, it is very much a boundary, it's a rule on how you are going to interact with other people. So you really need to be having conversations with your partner about not only just sex, but non sexual touch of sending and taking photos of pet names, or that people want to use, or especially with our queer teens, or discussing identities with certain people. So some of our teens might not be out to certain individuals, and they need to have very specific and clear conversations and consent around who they're sharing those identities with, maybe their pronouns, a chosen name, etc. All of those things have to have really clear communication for a healthy relationship to continue.
Absolutely, thank you so much for bringing up about the photos. I think that's something that a lot of us even parents forget that we need to ask for consent before we make public any photos that we took in a private situation. I think it's really important for all of us to be able to get into our vocabulary all the time. I also really appreciate your comment on pet names. With my first girlfriend, I made this huge mistake. We were out and doing something awesome. And I was taking a video and I then posted that video. And of course, she knew that I was going to post that video. What she didn't know was that you could hear in the video me calling her baby. And so to her that was a breach of trust because she was not out with her full social media world. And here I had tagged her in In the video, you cannot hear me call her babe. So I really appreciate that I wish I had gone through that conversation with my first girlfriend. About what pet names can I call you, in private? Between the two of us? What pet names? Can I call you to the outside with the outside world listening? That would have saved some pretty good arguments for us. Because I didn't even I didn't even know I didn't know you don't know what you don't know. even think about it. Absolutely, absolutely. And the last point I want to make on the slide, legally, there is no consent, if we are drunk or if we are high. And that is a really important thing to drill into our kids as they're getting older as they are experiencing those experiences. Once we choose to become altered, whether it's through alcohol, drugs, whatever we are, if we choose to be altered, we are choosing to take intimacy off the table. Because there's no consent. We can say anything we want, but there's no consent at that point. And if our society can make that pivot, our world is going to be an amazing place. So again, a really great conversation to have with your kids around. There's no consent, if we are altered in an altered state, we were taking that choice away once we choose to become altered. Moving on, tell us Quinten, what do you think about red and green flags within queer intimacy.
So I love the concept of red and green flags. I go over these of my high schoolers, I go over these with my undergrads. And I go over these in professional development settings where I'm talking to professionals about how they can support their career teens, because they're so so important. One of the things that we have to recognize with any relationship is that relationships are vastly different. Every single time you view them, not only does a relationship between two or more people change all the time. But each relationship is going to be extremely unique. So the good thing about red green flags is that they're pretty much universal, there's a little bit of shift that can happen situation to situation, but they're pretty easily recognizable. And they give us a little bit of that warning sign. So a lot of times like Elena was saying, queer folks are kind of forced to ignore our bodies. And red and green flags are often these little tiny triggers that send off messages in our bodies, they make our hearts jump a little bit, they make our palms sweaty a little bit, they might give us a little bit of anxiety, all of those types of flags that we are learning to read our teens are learning to read can be really connected to these. So I know sometimes for straight parents, queer intimacy might not be something that is super familiar. So we're gonna go over these red and green flags for things that parents should look for. And then we'll talk a little bit about red and green flags that you can have conversations with your teens to look for.
So we'll start with red flags, or red flag is something that is almost universally a negative sign. This is something that would communicate unhealthy boundaries, unhealthy communication, all of those types of things that we're worried about with our teams. So one of them would be a typical isolation. All of these red flags that weren't going over are especially important if they are different than your team's normal. So one of the things that we think about with queer teens is that unfortunately, we're already predisposed to be relatively isolated. Oftentimes, with queer teens, there's a very specific friend group, often it's a shared friend group. And it can be pretty isolating and small, depending on what type of area you're in, whether your state where it leans red, or blue, all of those different types of things really impacts the social situation of these teens. But if their isolation becomes dramatically increased, that's a red flag that there's something going on a new or increased substance use. So we're talking about teens, teens are going to be experimenting with things as much as we try and keep them safe. They have to learn these lessons on their own. And they have to try new things on their own. But if your teen is someone who is not at all interested in substances, and then all of a sudden is coming home, drunk or high constantly, that's a big deal. That's a red sign. If we're talking about a teen who has had these conversations with you, and it's like, Hey, Mom, I'd like to try an alcoholic beverage with your permission and you're watching over me and that continues to happen. That's not as much a red flag because that's their baseline normal. The next is a typical anxiety, depression or other mental health symptoms. So anytime your teen is experiencing something that makes you concern for their mental health, that's a red flag. It may not be the relationship that we're red flagging, but there's something going on here that your team needs some extra support with. So whether that be panic attacks, whether that be just dramatic all the time, deep sadness when that'd be increased fatigue with no explanation why? All of those types of things that really set off that something might be going on mental health wise, that can be a red flag in a relationship, or there could be something else completely different going on. Another thing to look out for is teasing, bullying or peer pressure. So this could come from the partner themself, or it could come from your teens peer group. Oftentimes, when we're talking about queer teens in relationships, sometimes folks don't really know how to handle their own queer identities. And so they start bullying others because of it. And on the flip side, a lot of times our queer teens who are out, are being bullied by cisgender, heterosexual peers being bullied by the systems that they are participating in by their schools, by their administrators, all of these really limiting rules that we're dealing with. And that can start to have a really negative impact on those mental health symptoms as well. And then the last one to look out for on the parents side is a significant change in scholarship. If you have a straight A student who's all of a sudden making DS, there's something going on, it may not be the relationship, there might be something else. But that's something really serious that you need to keep an eye out on. And if the relationship is really the only thing that has changed recently, it's a pretty good indicator that that might be related. Elena, do you want to say anything on red flags before I go on to green ones?
Thank you just one. And this was just my personal experience as a parent, y'all I am out like, I am really out, right. Like I run a queer nonprofit, I run a queer consulting firm, like, I'm dripping and rainbows. I know, I look like it. But I'm very out. My child did not come out to me until she was in distress. That's how I found out that she was part of the LGBTQ plus community because all of a sudden, she had this girlfriend, and the girlfriend was treating her really badly, because the girlfriend was going through some issues. And it all exploded at school one day, and I got the call from the nurse and I got all that information on one day. I have to feel like that's one of the hardest days to start that relationship with a teenager. And I'm not gonna lie and say it didn't really bother me that she didn't feel comfortable coming out to me before we got to that point. But I will say, one, we're at a great point right now, but also to those changes, it can be really hard, because how do we know what is like an LGBTQ plus issue and what is just like hormonal teenager, right? And we don't, we don't know, unless we're willing to talk to them, and they're willing to talk to us. That has to be the ultimate goal of these red flags and any red flag behavior, whether it has to do with being LGBTQ plus or not, the goal has to be being able to have communication. And sometimes that has to be forced, it was forced that day with my daughter. She had to have conversations with me that she didn't really want to have, but I had to keep her safe. We had to make some big choices that day. So again, red flags are not horrible. It's not the end of the world. The biggest flag that they are, is you're waving a flag saying we need to have some better communication, we need to have some frank honest conversation together. That's it. Quinten. Go ahead.
All right. So green flags, green flags are almost universally positive signs. These are things in your team or your team's life that you want to see, especially in regards to a new relationship. So if your teen is excitedly sharing details about their love interest with you, that is such a great thing. It can be so difficult to get teens to talk to us about these things sometimes. So if they're excitedly sharing details about the things they're interested in, or the people that are interested in super fantastic green flag. If your team is interested in or willing to introduce that love interest to you as a parent, fantastic, it can be really hard to convince teens to let us into their circles sometimes. Even as like myself. I have a teenage sibling in law. And just getting them to answer a simple question about how was school is complicated enough, let alone getting them to introduce me to their friends. So if they are willing, they're interested in awesome if they're willing to great. Oh, if they are sharing with you positive stories of this potential partner or partner's morality, of their loyalty of their healthy choices, if your teen is specifically telling you things that ring as Ooh, that's a really good choice of their partner's doing fantastic green flag. That means your team is recognizing that this was a healthy choice and trying to show it off. So that is fantastic. active communication so All this should be both active communication between the two teams, and active communication between your team and yourself. So this is talking about boundaries, talking about where they are in their relationship talking about how might things like large parties change, how might things like going to prom change for them, all of those communication and really important, impactful things that you think about when you're starting a new relationship, if they're actively talking about this with you, and with the partner, green flag. And then lastly, this is one that people don't think about quite as much. Sometimes with teens, when they get into a relationship, it feels from the outside, like their entire world has shifted. So they all of a sudden have a new friend group new interests, they might have learned things about their sexuality or gender identity that they didn't know previously to this relationship, all of this newness. And so if within all of that newness, your teen is maintaining their personal identity, they're acting the same way they have just maybe with some expanded interests, they're maintaining their hobbies. So they're not completely giving up things that they were in love with a month ago. And they're maintaining their friend group. Even if they're adding more friends, they're not completely cutting off the group that they had a month ago. That's a good sign. Because we always want our teens to expand and grow both their knowledge and their social awareness. But if they're just jumping group to group, that could be a sign that there's not very good communication going on. You want to say anything about those green flags Elena?
No. I love it. I love it. And I love that we have this way to be able to celebrate, because I think it deserves that. LGBTQ kids deserve to be celebrated when they're in healthy relationships. So being able to really give that positive feedback, I've noticed that you and so and so are making these choices. And I think that's great. And I've noticed that you make them really happy when you text them this and I've noticed they make you really happy when they send you this gift or whatever, right like really no deceiving when there's healthy, positive, joyful moments happening for them. Because there's, there's a lot of negativity coming down on our whole community right now. So the more that we can celebrate that pride and joy, the better.
Alright, really quickly, before we move on, I want to go over a couple of red and green flags that you as parents might want to be discussing with your teens, I'm not going to go into a whole lot of detail, because you probably know way more about it than I can present here. But I do want to touch on a couple of them real quickly. So things that you might want to be discussing with your teams are forced isolation, if talking to them about is this person making you miss time with your friends, is this person taking your attention away from your interests, that type of thing, demands for passwords, intimate information, money, or really coercion to do anything that they're uncomfortable with. Those are all red flags that you really want to have some open communication with them about. And that could be coercion when it comes to sex when it comes to drugs when it comes to unsafe driving, skipping school, or even things that might seem mild at the forefront like diets. That is a huge thing that happens. Unfortunately, with our teens, that can be a really major red flag. other red flags that you might want to go over with them bullying and belittling lies, rumors and sexting. And then codependency and codependency is a really, really big one with LGBTQ teens, unfortunately, because there's such a small friend pool. So that one I would discuss in a little bit of detail, some green flags that you may want to go over with them. Open and honest and communicative are always fantastic things. This partner has goals and they share values with your team. That's always a green flag. If the partner is supportive, both personally and of your teens school or career goals, awesome. If this partner is willing to hear and honor a no, and provides and receives feedback with grace, that's always a good thing. Those communication muscles are flexing fantastic. And then looking for kindness to others kindness to strangers. And then like personal space and interests, as long as those things align that's always agree on a good green flag.
Thank you. What do you think about this slide Quinten.
Yeah, so I put this together because a lot of times, straight parents may not be super familiar with all of the different aspects of queer relationships. So we're going to talk a little bit about the different things that make up queer intimacy. We'll start with physical. Obviously, some things are going to have sex. So that can be sex that involves penetrations that can be sex that is oral, that can be sexual acts that may not be typically considered sex, but could be for these teens services, things like using hands using mouths, using toys, touching over clothes, all of those types of things that teens may be doing. physical intimacy also includes kissing, holding hands, sitting on laps, cuddling, all of these things are really important for our teens, because they're figuring out their boundaries. And they're also managing all of those hormones, they need that dopamine and oxytocin. And it's really important for us to be able to both help our teens understand their own boundaries, and reinforce the fact that things like cuddling are really positive and can be really protective for mental health.
On the romance side, there could be things like new relationship titles, so your teen might be exploring what they want to be called in a relationship. For the first time do I want to be called boyfriend, girlfriend, partner. Lots and lots and lots of other titles that you could be called, they could be exploring new pet names, includes going on dates alone, and that's a big deal for teens. The romantic piece also includes a lot of really frequent communication, your team might be on their phone absolutely constantly, because their partner now every second of every day, that's normal, frustrating, but normal. And then they might also be experiencing new levels of privacy concerns, when our teens are first coming out, they are probably really worried that you are gonna find out and then after you find out, they're probably really worried about the rest of the world finding out and then being able to manage their out nest, the way they come out. And understanding that coming out is a journey, it's not a one and done thing. So those are types of things that they might be experimenting with on the romantic side.
And then emotionally, where intimacy can be both very similar to cis-het intimacy, but it can also be a little bit different. So we are very, very supportive of each other when it comes to tough times. Unfortunately, the queer community goes through a lot of minority stress. And a lot of your team's friends are not going to understand that if they're cisgender and heterosexual. So their partner could be one of their biggest support system pieces. When they're going through something tough. They're often venting frustrations to each other because that in group minority stress, their partner gets it they probably have a shared are a small friend pool. And they, their partner is usually a protection against that minority stress. If they're having active unhealthy communication, that can actually be a really good bolster, and really good preventative factor against those mental health challenges that we're so concerned about. And then there is that deeper level of trust, because these partners understand what we're going through, they're not going to accidentally out us to someone that is dangerous. They're not going to say things that are painful in a way that comes from not understanding our identities. So there is that deeper level of trust in a queer teen relationship?
Absolutely, thank you. I think the last thing that I want to add here is the importance of something that Quinten has been touching on a little bit is that for some of our queer teens, they are feeling very isolated. There might not be that many queer teams to choose from for a romantic partners their school, right. And a thing that happens often in the queer community is that we get we are in these relationships that sometimes we're really hesitant to come out of, because it feels like we'll be really alone when we do. And so that is something that happens all through adulthood in the queer community is, I'm alone, my parents might have cut off contact, I lost my faith congregation, I don't have that much of a community support. I have this intimate partner. It's not the greatest relationship, but I can't imagine ending it because then I'll be really alone. So the sooner that you can help expose your queer teens to like this vast world of queer teens, bringing them to events, weather, we all know they're gonna refuse to go if it's your idea, but making sure that they're aware that there are a lot of queer teen events, that they are not the only ones that there are many options out there, as well as when the relationship comes to an end, because it probably will.
We can kind of guide them through what does uncoupling look like, as a teenager as a queer teenager? How is a healthy breakup? What does that look like and how do we do it? Right? So those We're all kind of parts of that. But know that that's like a lifelong thing that happens in the LGBTQ community. Okay, so how much anxiety are we feeling? Maybe a little bit, maybe a lot. I encourage you at this point, if you are feeling some anxiety, to really take a deep breath, you are very much in a safe space, and your LGBTQ teen is very loved by their community. And you are not alone.
As this meeting is evidence of parent anxiety, I'm going to give you one example of something that's very common that parents feel I had a group I work with ERGs, employee resource groups, that companies, a lot of them are pride groups, always consistently half the members of the pride group at any corporation that I work with our parents, those are the majority of the members of the pride group. And so I work with those groups. And this last week, I had a meeting with one of them, and they were like, my daughter's going on a band trip, daughter's queer. And I swear every band in high school, the marching band, right, like they're almost awkward, just as you're going on a band trip, and they want to share a room with their girlfriend. And since they're both girls in the band director isn't really aware of the relationship, they've been assigned to the same room. Can this be okay, what do we do here. And then a very adjacent concept is, my daughter wants to have a sleepover with her other queer friends. I never imagined this scenario, and I don't know how to handle it. So if that feels familiar to you at all, please know you are not alone. It's a huge source of anxiety. And we can go into those specific scenarios at the end, if you want, I don't want to spend too much time on them. But these are very typical scenarios that can cause a lot of parent anxiety. And one of the most important things that we need to do as parents is to address and resolve our anxiety without putting it on our children. It is not on them to make us feel better. Even though a lot of times it kind of feels like it should be because they're the ones causing all the anxiety, but it's actually not on them. And a huge part of being able to resolve that is to be able to get into a little bit of a self awareness practice. So self awareness is being able to intentionally observe our thoughts, actions and emotions without judging them. And that's really important for parents and queer teams. Because the minute we start to feel critical about something that's happening in this relationship, we might start to feel like oh, crap, I might be a bigot, right, I might be against this, I might, I might not be as supportive of this as I thought I was. And we feel some shame. And we try to just cover it up with a blanket and ignore it. And that is only going to make our anxiety worse, and or our kids might be accusing us of that every time we try to set a boundary with our kids and their romantic interest, they might start accusing us of being homophobic or transphobic, when that's not the intent, but it might be the impact.
And so how we can resolve all of those issues is by getting very real with ourselves, not judging ourselves. But getting very real. One of the first questions we can ask is, did my parents ever have this conversation with me as a street team? And the answer is probably not. Most of my peers, we never had conversations about this with our parents, right? So it makes sense that you feel anxious about it, you've never experienced it on either end. So being able to ask yourself, get curious with yourself, and answer some of those questions in a way that is not judgmental, so that you can really see what's going on, and start to resolve some of those anxieties within yourself. So that that expectation is not being put on our kids. We want to make sure we're not going to wait for them to bring up these questions. They're not going to do it. And I think, especially from the background, that I came from the ultra conservative, the ultra religious, we really had this concept of, if I talk to them about this, it's gonna encourage them to go do it, it's gonna make them think that I'm okay with them having sex and I'm not, right. Like, we really think that if we don't engage in the conversation, then it won't happen. And that really is just fear. That's just fear talking. And we can resolve that, again, through self awareness practice and through education like this. Let's not make assumptions. Let's not assume that if they are spending 24 hours a day on the phone with this new romantic interest that they are getting physically involved. Let's not make that assumption. But let's do ask that question. And let's not avoid the hard topics, but that's why you're here today. So I'm confident that that's not what you're doing. Definitely show curiosity with yourself and with your kiddo and lead with vulnerability. That can be hard to do.
When I teach it in classes, I teach strategic vulnerability, being able to share something personal about yourself to help them see that you are empathizing and you understand, but not in a way that is distracting from the concept at hand, or also creates a wound for yourself because you weren't ready to share that information. Right? So play a little bit of planning beforehand. What about my life experience? Do I want to share with my child to help them understand that I understand I know what's going on here. And that I can empathize with them, but not to distract them or to open up a whole nother can of worms, right? And definitely asking open ended questions. My favorite one is, at the end of your conversation, instead of saying, Do you have any questions, you can say? What questions do you have? It's a totally different response that you're gonna get from your kiddo. If you ask what questions do you have about what we just talked about? Rather than? Do you have any questions? Right, is that open ended concept there. Okay, we're gonna move on, because I know we are a little bit behind on time. So sorry, it's gonna start coming at you like a firehose at this point.
So communicating with our teens is really always a challenge. But when you and your teen are not necessarily part of the same groups, for example, if a parent is straight, and the teen is not, it can be so much harder. So I wanted to give some examples to help kind of guide your thought process when you're talking to your teens about relationships, sex, sexuality, partners, gender and all of that type of stuff. Obviously, these are not going to be all of the questions that you should or should not use. But there are some examples that I get a lot from parents or that I get from teens that they would wish their parents would ask differently. So I want to go over a few of those with you.
We'll start with some really helpful questions. So the first one is, can you tell me what that means to you? And this question really allows the parent to get clarity on whatever the teen is talking about, whether that be definitions of a word, whether that be the impact of something that happened, whether it's the purpose of a story that the teen is sharing, etc. It shows that interest and allows to get clarity without really giving an opportunity for the parent to miss speak, or say something that the teen is going to take in a way that they don't intend. It shows interest with grace. The second one is, what are some of the most important things for me to know about your partner. So this shows interest in the partner without being overly Snoopy, your team's not going to feel like you're trying to like get involved in their entire life trying to pull every detail out of them. And it gives the teen real true autonomy over the details that they're sharing with you as a parent. It can also be paired with a number. If your team is not one that's super communicative if they are one that answers one word, to most of your questions, you can ask, tell me the top 10 things that I need to know about this new partner, or something like that, that kind of invites more communication with them, you're less communicative, communicative team. And the third helpful question is, do you have questions for me? Or is there anything I can make clear for you? I love Elena's which What questions do you have for me, all of those things, where you very, very openly and specifically give your teen an opportunity to ask questions, gain clarity, because it shows that you want them to really understand what you're talking about, and that you value them as a part of the conversation. And as a learner. You're talking with them rather than ask them. So those are all really helpful questions to use, honestly, in a lot of different situations, but especially when we're talking about teen relationships.
Some of the unhelpful questions that I hear parents say that they asked and it didn't go well, or teens say parent asked, and they felt uncomfortable because of it. Are these so for example, a teen is coming out as trans? If you're coming out as a trans man, does that mean you are some different sexuality now? And this can be really complicated for parents? Because when you ask this question, you're probably genuinely just trying to understand how their identity is impacting the rest of their identities. But you really, really have to be able to read the room with this question. Gender identity is not equivalent to sexuality. They're not the same thing. They're linked, but they're not the same. So asking in this way, will really likely stress out your team. You have to be able to read the room and if it seems like it's a good time, you can ask if this new identity impacts any of their other identities or labels, and how they feel Without that, but it really has to be the right time, the right emotions. If your teen is basically having a panic attack coming out to you, you're not going to want to ask them to pour out more information. At that point, you're just being supportive. But if this is a calm conversation, if this is maybe a follow up conversation the next day or the day after, you may be able to have that conversation with your teen about how those labels impact each other. The second unhelpful question is, are you having sex yet? We get that from teens a lot. They are really, really uncomfortable. That conversation, it's really abrupt. It's not really specific get there, you're not telling them what you mean by Are you having sex yet? For queer teens? That could involve a lot of different things? And they're not sure exactly what you're asking? Is my parent concerned that I might get pregnant? Or is my parent concerned about physical intimacy with my partner? And so trying to tease that out just based on are you having sex yet is not easy for your team? And really, the way that the question is asked doesn't imply safety or trustworthiness, and could really being misunderstood. So instead, you could ask if they're interested in seeing or dating someone, and then based on their response, you can ask if they're physically intimate with that person, and move on to the purpose of the conversation based on their answer. So if you're trying to get at STI prevention, you can get there in a much gentler way. If you're trying to talk about contraception, you can get there in a gentler way. Or if you're just trying to understand where they are in their relationship. Again, you can get there in a much gentler way that's not going to have them have their red flags go off. And then the last one is whether the person is treating you well. This is really not clear enough for teens, it could be misunderstood as the parent trying to be really nosy or whether the parent as an authority figure could become a threat to the partner. If your teen is really interested in somebody, and the parent is not a fan of that partner, it feels really threatening to that team. So instead, you can ask a lot more specific questions. So if you're concerned about bullying, ask is this person bullying you? Is this person calling you names? Do you feel comfortable when you're sharing important topics with this person. And it really lets you kind of position yourself as an ally and a resource, rather than an authority that's going to impose your rules on your gains relationship. So we found that that can be a little bit helpful there.
And then some follow up questions. So these are kind of for the next day after you've both had time to process your emotions after your teen came out or let you know about a new relationship or let you know about a new identity in their journey. The first one is I'd really like to learn more about blink, whatever you and your child had been discussing, can you recommend your favorite resources so that I can educate myself? This one is a really great one because it shows interest in your child and their interests. It asks for their input. And it gives your child a chance to share their favorites their interests, and gives them this sense of ownership over your educational experience. Plus is showing that you're really doing the work trying to educate yourself to support your child. The second one is how can I best support you right now. It specifically asks what the child needs. It shows that the parent is desiring to support the kid. And it acknowledges that the team knows themselves and their needs best. You're not assuming what type of support your team might need. You're asking what they know they need. And then lastly, this is an example for like STI testing when you're having sexual relations as a team. Would you rather I help you with the STI testing process? Or would you like me to just show you the website for a local clinic. So this one, especially for less communicative teens who are having sex, giving options about parent involvement, while still implying that testing is a non negotiable, gives the team that off, like authored authority and autonomy over the process and their own body, guides them to healthy decision making and gives you both an opportunity to learn together.
All right, we're gonna get into our final topic, which is STIs. Again, if you have any questions around that parent anxiety, I did see the note we can talk about those specific scenarios that I brought up at the beginning of that section. No problem. But let's get into the STIs because this is nitty gritty stuff. And I'm excited to learn from Quinten because I know very little about this. So let's get into it.
Yeah, so one of the big topics that I talk about, especially with my high schoolers and undergrads is STIs. So we can talk a little bit about the clinical information if you're interested in specific in access specific STIs. But I think it's a little bit more important with parents to talk about the general information. So when we're thinking about STI as an identity, sexually transmitted infections do not discriminate based on identity. There are a lot of stereotypes and stigmas around STI is what is more common in the gay community or when we think back we're thinking about HIV and all of the stigma with gay cancer and all of that. That is really complicated because it's rooted in discrimination and stigma and minority stress and all of these horrible experiences that the queer community went through. That being said HIV actually has doesn't care what your sexuality is doesn't care what your gender is, it's passed to all people. Another important topic is prep, pre exposure prophylaxis, is HIV preventative medication. It is something that can be taken either every day or right before and right after a sexual encounter depending on the person. This is a service that is available to teens. This is something that you can help your teens access. If that is something that is appropriate for your family.
HPV, human papilloma virus vaccines are available and important for all teens. Regardless of your teen’s understanding of what HPV vaccines are for and how they may interplay with your team's identity. It's really important for all teams to be vaccinated against HPV because it can cause several cancers. And I myself as a young teen, when I back in the day, I was identifying as a lesbian, I didn't think that I needed an HPV vaccine because there was not going to be any penis in there. And I was sorely mistaken did not get that as a 16 year old but had my parents had an open conversation with me about like, this is the importance of HPV, you have a cervix, you could get cervical cancer, all of those types of things, it would have made a really big difference in my medical care as a team.
And then STIs can come from all kinds of sexual acts. It's not just vaginal, anal, or oral sex, there are so many different things that can cause STIs to be transmitted between people. And prevention is not just condoms, it's not just a birth control pill, it is a combination of different techniques to prevent STIs. And our last little comment about identity, this is dependent place to place, but in many places, teens can get tested for STIs without parental involvement. So if they are really, really anxious about you being involved, and they would really just rather do it on their own. There are places where a lot of teens can get access to STI testing in places like Planned Parenthood, community mental health centers and community health centers that have titled 10, programs, etc. There are ways that your teen can do this all by themselves, so that they can get that testing done. It's important to talk about the fact that STIs are common, they're normal, and there's really no shame in them. This is just a virus that happens when two people get together, over half of the people in the United States will get at least one STI in their lifetime. So it is super, super normal. And most of them are either curable or highly treatable if they are caught early. So testing again, very, very, very important. Please push the importance of testing, and then impact.
So not all STIs are symptomatic, some teens might not realize that they have an STI because they're just not feeling it. So there are STIs that can just lay dormant in your body or they can be wreaking havoc that you don't even recognize some STIs are extremely dangerous or deadly if not treated. So it's really important to get access to that treatment, which comes through testing. And then one impact that people don't think about a lot is that a team who's unintentionally passing STIs to others, that can really damage their mental health because oh my goodness, that guilt of passing that without having realized it, and also can really damage their social reputation. So that is something to consider when we're thinking about this.
And then for parents of trans teens, so trans teens and sex, HRT does not equal contraception. Just because your trans teen is on HRT, it does not mean they cannot get pregnant or get someone pregnant, it becomes less likely but it does not become impossible. So please be aware of that you can be on T and be on birth control at the same time. blockers and HRT both impact libido, sexual function, emotions and executive function. When you go on something that changes your hormones. It changes all of the chemicals in your brain. So that impacts all of your brain functions, not just the sex related ones. And then dysphoria. Gender Dysphoria is really really impactful for trans teens. Unfortunately, that will probably impact both sex and relationships in a variety of different ways. And that could be something that they need additional support around. I highly, highly suggest connecting your trans teams with a mental health professional, if they're willing, and if there's someone that's available in your area.
Awesome, thank you. Thank you. Our last word for you today is you are raising the next generation of queer leaders. And for that, we really hope that you are able to take time to take care of yourself, take care of your own mental and physical health and well being. And being able to be stay in your own journey. Be aware of your own journey, while empowering them on their journey of physical, mental and emotional wellness, as they develop up into the adult that they're going to be. You're so glad that you are here with us today. I'm just looking over our wrap up to think if there was anything I did remember one thing that I wanted to throw in with those questions that we're asking our kids are the questions, we're not asking our kids, my favorite one that I use to respond with any vulnerable information that they've shared with me, as well as I do a monthly check in. I try with each of my kids one on one, and I asked this question, so it's my favorite hands down? Do you feel safe? Do you feel safe at school? Do you feel safe at church? Do you feel safe in your friendships? And in your romantic relationships? Do you feel safe on your sports teams? Do you feel safe at home? When we can repeatedly ask those questions, we are repeatedly telling our children that we know they're vulnerable, we're interested in their safety, and we are willing to protect them. So even though 99% of the time they're gonna roll their eyes and say, Yeah, Mom, I'm fine. You've done your job. You've communicated to them very clearly, that their safety and well being is number one priority over everything else. Right? Because that's what we do as parents.
Okay, we did good, we did good. It's time to get into those awkward questions. I'm gonna go back to those scenarios that I was bringing up, because we did have someone who definitely wanted to talk about that. And we can then go into any other questions as well. So every family is going to handle things like sleepovers and overnight field trips and everything like that everyone's gonna handle it differently, just like in the hetero world, right, we're all gonna handle it differently. I can share with you how I handle it. But that doesn't necessarily mean that it's gonna work for your family. So in my family, we have a rule that we don't have any overnight experiences. So whether that's in our house, someone else's house, or on a field trip or something, we don't have overnight experiences with someone that we have romantic feelings for, or with someone who has romantic feelings with us. We have a friend in my daughter's life, has a major crush on her and my daughter is not reciprocating, she just wants to be best friends. I love this child. I wish my daughter reciprocated because she's fabulous. But she doesn't. That's just is what it is. We can't have sleepovers with that friend. We don't want to create any type of power differential power dynamic that comes into those situations. We're just not going to risk that in my family. So in my family, the rules around overnights have nothing to do with gender. They just don't. For our family. It's not about gender. It's about the feelings that we have for one another. Now, of course, my teenagers like well, what does that have to do with anything. And then we can go into conversations about literally your brain is developing at a really high rate, literally who you are today is a little bit different than who you were tomorrow. And when we have overnight experiences, our brain can't keep up with who we are becoming. And so it is a boundary that we can keep for our own health for our own wellness, about overnight experiences. And when I was dating, I maintained that as well. Because in my family, this is not about age or privilege. This is about personal safety, personal health and wellness. And so my children learned that as well. That if I was really into someone or they were really into me, we were not going to have an overnight experience until way down the road. And again, that's personal. It's personal. It's personal. Any other thoughts you feel free to come off mute? If you have thoughts, comments or questions about that topic and in particular
I just want to say real quick. I wish my mom had handled it that way. I love your rule. And one thing that I have heard other parents add that could be added to this or could be used in a different situation for your family is The discussion around the space that the overnight experience happens in. So if you live in a place where your teen has access to like, a large living room with a sleepable couch or a playroom, or a space that doesn't have doors, or maybe you can just require that their door stays open all night. Those are some of the ways that I've heard families tackle that issue as well.
Yeah. One alternative that we give our teens is that we do late nights all the time. No one needs to be out and about later than midnight, not adults, not kids. We don't want to be out later than midnight. So let's have a party. And let's have fun, and be in your room with the door closed. That's fine. It's fine. I trust you with that. But at midnight, everyone goes home sleeps in their own bed. Again, my personal rule. Great. See, were there any other questions that might have come in that we could answer?
No, but I had a question that I thought maybe the two of you could talk a little bit about. It refers to the bullying and harassment, but I think it can also infiltrate into just like relationships in general, and the rise of technology. I'm curious, some advice on how to monitor bullying,harassment, or inappropriate behaviors on social media apps and things like that without breaking trust with the teen. And without having a sense of like, I'm invading your privacy.
Such a good question, especially for parents that are co parenting. So my children's dad is very clear with them, that he has full access to their phones, he will check anything in everything, he monitors everything. He knows what everyone is saying to them at all times. And that has caused a huge disconnect in their relationship. And that's kind of really hard to watch. So I've been able, that's one end that I deal with, right? And so how do I deal with it? On my end? I don't have a clear answer for that. I do the best that I can I check in with my kids and say Is anything happening online that you want to talk about? And I normalize that conversation? We're constantly sitting on the couch and like sharing each other's phones, look at this video, look at this video, right? Like we're constantly doing that. I'm on all the platforms except for Snapchat, I have a weird, weird feeling about Snapchat, but I'm on all the other platforms. And so I can talk that language with them. And we can share different funny videos and stuff. And in the midst of that, I can see things like, have you come across anything that made you feel any kind of way this week? Is there anyone who's reaching out to you that you kind of wish they didn't? Is there someone you want to reach out to and you don't know how to write, like normalizing that conversation is the only strategy that I have? Quinten, any thoughts.
So I just have to give the disclaimer that I am not yet a parent. But I can talk from the experience of having been a queer teen and what I experienced from my parents. And I wish I would have. So I did have a parent who was very much like your co parent who was very, I will take your phone and I will go through it whenever I feel like it because I'm paying for it. And unfortunately for me, even after I started paying for it, that rule just somehow rolled over. So I do not suggest that strategy because it did not instill any trust between me and either of the parents that some things that I can say I have heard can be used successfully with teens are, again thinking about in developmental stages. So if we're talking about a 12 or 13 year old, we're probably going to have very different expectations than a 17 or 18 year old. So just keeping that in mind. A lot of social media has options for Parental Controls depending on ages. If we're talking about very young teens, you may want to have certain parental controls on their social media. Another thing that I have heard parents use with pretty decent success is limits on like, active Wi Fi. So for example, your team, either your entire house full of Wi Fi, it shuts off at a certain time or your team's devices can no longer connect to Wi Fi at a certain time. And that not only kind of helps reduce some of the dramatic stressors that can happen during late nights. But it also helps encourage your teams to use night time for sleeping because they need a lot of rest for their developing brains. Those are some things that I kind of wished that my parents had gone down those roads rather than just demanding my phone.
Great thanks for that perspective, Quinten. Katina, did you have a question?
Well, I actually was just going to add into a parent. So I loved what you said with asking about feeling safe? That's a question I asked every day for them online. Are you feeling unsafe? Or are just feeling safe? And then I'll ask them, you know about their friends online? How are your friends doing? A lot of my kids interaction is online. They're big video gamers. So they spent a lot of time you know, online. And so, you know, how are your friends doing your friends doing? Okay, um, and are you seeing anything in the community that you feel is unsafe? So I don't want to fly and say, Hey, are you doing a good job keeping everybody safe? But I like asking them, you know, what's going on in there? Are other people safe to? There's great training by right to be I don't know, if you know, it, it's bystander intervention training. And they also do, I'll put the link in the chat. They also do training for, like online bystander intervention training, which is pretty cool. Yeah, we, you know, we did try the thing of limiting time for them. And it was starting to feel kind of disrespectful. And it never felt respectful for me to like, monitor every single thing they were doing. I felt like, if I couldn't trust them, how could they trust me. So they all have access to my phone the same way, like, you know, they can pick up my phone and use my password and things like that, too. I felt like it was important to not have a double standard with that. And I do a lot of monitoring of myself and how I use social media in front of my kids, I don't want to be you know, in a conversation with them. And they're trying to talk to me, and I'm checking something on Facebook or Instagram. And that's actually really hard for me, I put my phone in a drawer, and I shut the drawer when it's dinnertime, because it is really tempting. So I do a lot of chicken with myself too. And when I come to events like this are so incredible. Thank you so much. It's so inspiring. I have so much to talk about. I asked them, I'll be like, Hey, this is what I learned today. What do you think about this? Because they know so much more than they really do. And I asked them about things that I run into, too. Like, I definitely see some craziness on Facebook. And I'll be like, Oh my gosh, this thing happen? What do you think about that? What would you do if you were in that situation? So I just, you know, I want to just share what my side is to.
Thank you so much. And yes, we're excited, we will make sure that that link is in our wrap up notes with that will send out to everyone. We'll also have the same notes as show notes in the podcast episode once it goes live. So thank you so so much. Are there any other thoughts or questions at all, I don't want to close this out too soon. If anyone was wanting to speak up or get something into the chat, I'm just gonna give it a couple moments. for that. I would like to invite you if this has been helpful. And if you have the means you can use your phone and take a picture of that QR code. And it'll take you to our PayPal, where you can make a donation of absolutely any amount. And those donations stay in our prime Joe parents program and help to make sure that these events happen. And that we can get the word out to parents who need this kind of information in this really accessible way. So if that's within your means, we appreciate that. Just gonna check the chat one more time. Oh, thank you so much. It is a labor of love to pull these events together. But every single time that we do, it pays off in the most wonderful, beautiful ways and so grateful for you all for being here and for being the parents that you are being thank you so much you are free to leave to exit whenever you want. Quinten C and I will hang out just in case anyone wants to hang out and have any questions or conversation. But our meeting is complete. Thank you so much.
I'm so glad this was good.
Elena, I wanted to just like connect to another podcast episode that you did. It reminds me that question of Are you being safe? And sometimes you had mentioned before? I can't remember which one it was. But it was like sometimes we as, well I'm not a parent, I'm just speaking we, I'm pretending to be one, are not the safe one. And I'm just curious. I know people have left, but I'm curious if you had any more thoughts about that. Remember that podcast. And that really stood out to me because I think that's really a powerful thing to think about. And sometimes having to maybe have a little bit of break and I just didn't know if that like that comes up with parents at some point. If you want to talk about that at all.
Yeah, that concept I do share a pretty frequently and publicly, after I came out, and I did a lot of work, I did a lot of healing, it's a lot of self awareness work, right. And I realized that my own mom and dad who are not together are not safe for my mental health, at least not where I am right now, I hope that I can get healed to a point where I can have regular contact with them again. But right now, it's just not safe. And it's a little bit of who they are now. But it's a lot a bit about who what our interactions were like for the first 40 years of my life, right? That's a lot of history. And I can't expect them to fix that right now. And I can't expect my nervous system to handle that all of that, right, I am still healing. And in that realization came the idea that I might not be safe for my own children's mental health, physical health and well being. I am in a place where I was a very different mom. I was a mean, mom, because I was constantly unhappy with myself. And my kids were trying to make me happy because kids are like that. And there was nothing they could do to make me happy. And so because I wasn't happy with myself, right. And so that created a lot of tension and a lot of anxiety in my relationship, specifically with my two oldest kiddos. And when I got to a point where I was able to say to them, you don't have to have a close relationship with me, if I'm not safe for you. That is okay. That's okay. But I need for you to have a close relationship with someone, an aunt and uncle, maybe your dad, if that's possible. So that you have someone looking out for you and feeling safe. And it was just having that conversation that allowed them to grow closer to me, when I gave them that permission to recognize that I have caused them harm I have, I can acknowledge that reality, I've caused them harm. And they are probably still healing from that. And so if they can't be vulnerable with me on every issue, or specific single issue, that is okay, that doesn't make them bad or me bad. It just means that they need to find someone else to be vulnerable with. And I've been really intentional about making sure my siblings are in their lives, because their grandparents, my mom and dad are not in their lives. So we've had to make some adjustments that way. Is that what you were, you were kind of referring to C?
Yeah, and I just thought like, when I first heard you share that, I just thought it was really a powerful thing and a very vulnerable thing to think about. And it also reminds me, you know, we also might recognize that our, “our”, I'm speaking like, not for me (for us) when, you know, we also might recognize that our, because I'm not married either, but like maybe (our) my spouse is not a safe the safe person too so I just, you know, just thinking about things like that. Thank you for sharing sharing that.
Add to that real quick. I think it's really important as parents of queer teens to recognize that most queer teens are experiencing some level of discrimination or discomfort around their identities, their queer identities with their parents. The fact that you are here, and trying to learn and trying to access the information puts you in like, top tier parenting right now. You are seeking the information to support your team, who is a part of a group who, unfortunately, most of us don't even have parents that are still in our lives once we hit a certain point. And it is a really big deal that you're here in trying to do this for them. And it's a really big deal that you can recognize that before your team came out to you before you knew about their identity. Even unintentional, you probably did cause them harm. And so having that recognition, just like you were saying of you need to have some supportive adult. That is really, really important for our queer teens because most of them are losing those supportive adults. So not only for your teen, but your queer teens queer friends, if you can be that safe adult for a different queer team that makes an enormous impact not only on their current experience as a queer teen, but it is a protective factor against suicide, and it makes a big difference in their relationships as they continue into adulthood.
Yes, we we frequently at these meetings have parents that are like, Okay, well, apparently I'm the mom that all queer teens are going to hang out of my house because I'm not the jerk parent. And those are the parents that come to these meetings, right. And so often, our audience here, our parents are like, all the kids hang out at my house, eat all my food, they're here all the time. And for those parents, I strongly suggest that you check out our Leaders for Inclusive Change class, that DIY class that I was telling you at the beginning, it's like six online classes, tons of resources, like a crazy amount of resources. And it really breaks down. This is how you create safe space. This is what all the words mean, this is how we open up those conversations. And this is how we kind of need to button them down again, before we send them back to their parents that might not be affirming or they might be hiding their identity from right. Things like that are really important to learn, if you are going to be that parent, that mom who's hosting all those queer teens, and creating the safe space for them.
If I may, I just want to add about ways that you as a parent can kind of show your ally ship to your team. I don't want to get overly political in a setting like this. But when we're thinking about politics, there are a lot of political things that are going on right now that are impacting our queer teens very, very dramatically. And having open and honest conversations with your teens about those political issues, is really important not only to help you understand their point of view on the issue, but also to if you are in agreement, support them in their view of that issue, and potentially get involved in different political activities that can be really impactful and kind of change the trajectory of your teen’s journey.
Yeah, and I hear from a lot of parents every week who are like, Well, my teen isn't trans. And so this issue with bathrooms, or sports or drag shows or whatever, like they think it kind of doesn't apply to them. It very much applies to them in so many different ways, because it's frankly, all the same issue. But also, many of their friends are trans, many of their friends are non binary. And frankly, their future partner is likely either trans or non binary of Gen Z youth that identify as LGBTQ plus, which by the way is between 24 and 33%. Depending on which study you look at, it's a lot, way more than millennials. So out of those kids Gen Z that identify as LGBTQ plus 40% of them identify as trans or non binary. So it is a 40% chance that your kid when they get to that point where they're going to be in a committed relationship and start that family, it's a good chance it's a trans or non binary person. And that is the person who's being attacked right now and legislatures. So even if it's not your kid, it's likely your future in law.
Right. And it can also be a very similar situation to myself, where, if I was still a sophomore in high school, right now, I would have been a lesbian to my parents. And this is still something that would be dramatically impacting me, because I'm experiencing gender dysphoria without even realizing it. So you can have teens who have a minority sexual orientation, who don't even realize that they're trans yet. And these political things can be impacting them without them even really understanding why and how it is.
So true. So true. I really don't want this meeting to end on anything but celebration, and pride and joy. And so I'd like to really leave you with this idea that it's so cool to be queer. Like, I want you to know that, like we have an incredible life journey that we get to be on, we have superpowers that we didn't know we have that we get to express in our relationships and our career, in, in our family lives. Like it is a beautiful, wonderful thing to be able to get to know yourself on this really core level, starting really early in life. It's amazing and beautiful. And I wouldn't change my world for anything. And I've lived it both ways. Now. I have closer relationships with my kids I have so much. So please know that the future is bright and beautiful for your child, especially because of you and because of your willingness to come to events like this. So thank you. I'm going to close out our meeting. We will head out. If anyone has any questions. You have our email address. I love it. Have a great night, and you'll be receiving an email from us soon. With all this information, thank you so much everyone. Isn't Quinten, just incredible. Like he's not a parent, but he's obviously incredibly skilled at breaking down the big issues that queer teens face into simple concepts that we can have deep conversations around. If you're hungry for more, check out our pride and joy foundation blog, you'll find a great article that we wrote with him getting ready for this event. Just go to pride and joy foundation.com forward slash blog. And all the links to all the resources that we talked about in this episode are in our show notes, any questions, just go to www dot out of curiosity.com for all the answers. I cannot express my appreciation enough, both for the parents who came to the event. And for those of you listening to this episode, you are raising our next generation of LGBTQ plus leaders and literal lives are changed when you engage in this work. From my heart to yours, our pride and joy parents. Thank you. And until next time, be good to yourself fam. I appreciate you.